Crabby Cakes with Roasty Sauce

These were inspired by Fat Free Vegan’s Crab Cakes. Many thanks.
The Thai version is good too.
20130430-181229.jpg
These are so crabby/fishy that I honestly kept checking for bits of bone.

For the Crabby Cakes

Two serve two hungry vegans with salad as a main course, or four-six delicate appetites for a starter.

1 20oz, 500g tin of young green jackfruit in water, drained
100g dried haricot beans, soaked over night, boiled for 45 minutes and drained
1/4 red onion
20130430-163558.jpg
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pinch wakame flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon mustard powder
And
2 tablespoons polenta
Oil to fry

Method
Put the haricot beans, onion, garlic and wakame into your food processor and whizz till it has the consistency of rather dry hummus.

Add the spices and jackfruit and whizz again until the jackfruit is shredded but not a paste. The mixture should look slightly disturbingly crab-like.

Remove from the blender and shape into about 6/7 cakes, coating the outsides with polenta.
20130430-163524.jpg
Refrigerate these until needed, then fry on both sides until nice and brown.

Roasty Sauce
Mix together:
1 small aubergine (cubed)
1 red pepper (cubed)
3 quartered tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
In a baking tray and roast at 200c for 45 minutes.

Then fry:
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (grated)
2 red chillies (finely chopped)
In a little olive oil.

Add the roasted vegetables and:
A splash of balsamic vinegar

Then blend it all up with an immersion blender if you have one.

Serve with salad, chips, griddled courgettes, or something else depending on how many people you are serving and how hungry you are.
20130430-182006.jpg
In this case it’s a rocket and sugarsnap pea salad, dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and walnuts.

Advertisements

Sourdough Battered Onion Rings

These go beautifully with the Barbeque Bowl. Or as a side to anything you like.
20130425-185459.jpg
Ingredients
150g refreshed starter
150g self raising or plain flour (both are good, self raising will make them bubble and crisp more)
50g cornflour
150g water

Sparkling water or beer to adjust consistency.

A large onion – or make fritters with any vegetables you like, or seitan nuggets…

Plenty of oil to fry, we have a deep-fat fryer but a couple of inches in a wok would do the trick.

Method
Mix the first four ingredients well and leave in the fridge for at least an hour, but up to about twelve hours is fine, maybe even longer.

When you are ready to eat, remove the batter from the fridge and adjust the consistency with sparkling water or beer. You want it to be pourable but thick, there is a large margin of error so don’t worry. Heat the oil, a fryer should have a thermostat but if you are using a wok then test with a droplet of batter, it should puff and be immediately surrounded by bubbles.
20130425-172014.jpg
Slice the onion into rings and dip them individually into the batter. Then drop each one carefully into the hot oil, keep them seperate and fry in batches.

Pulled Pork-Style Jackfruit in Ciabatta Buns, with BBQ Beans

This is a fair amount of work for something which looks so casual, but it is very delicious.
20130417-181113.jpg
Start the Ciabata the night before… And don’t forget to put the beans on to soak!

Sourdough Ciabata
This was based on the recipe here, but I halved it and found that the dough came out very dry. So here is my version:

The night before:
Mix together
100g starter
55g water
130g flour
To make a thick starter, knead this and leave somewhere warm for around 15 hours. It should double in size.

In the morning
Mix together:
180g water
30g plant milk (I’ve used almond or soy)
310g flour
15g olive oil
Pinch of salt

And slowly add to all of your thick starter from last night, keep the dough hook going while you pour it slowly in.

The resulting dough will be sloppy and sticky. Almost impossible to knead by hand. I suspect that this depends a lot on the flour you use, so adjust quantities if necessary.
20130417-105506.jpg
There should be long strings of gluten visible.

Leave the dough to rise somewhere warm for about 2 hours.

Then transfer to a well floured baking sheet, and sprinkle lots of flour on top (I use my trusty liner to stop it sticking). The dough will be almost pourable.
20130417-155354.jpg
Cut the dough into eight rough squares with two scrapers, and separate a bit. Allow to rest for 40 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 200c.

(This is a good time to boil the beans you soaked last night).
20130417-135603.jpg
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Until risen and browned. Allow to cool on a rack.

Next make your Mango Barbeque Beans

This is loosely based on, and entirely inspired by Isa Chandra Moscowitz’s Mango BBQ Beans from Appetite for Reduction (p133)… But without many of the ingredients.

200g each of dried haricot and cannelini beans, soaked overnight, simmered for 45 minutes and drained.
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon good smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons chilli flakes (or to your taste- I often leave them out if cooking for children)

Method
Sauté the onion and garlic until softened. Add the tomato, mango juice and spices. Reduce a little and add the beans.
Cook slowly for at least 45 minutes. Then let it rest if you can, before reheating to serve.

Prepare your Pulled Pork Style Jackfruit:

This is based on the recipe here. It’s a great recipe and as with all great recipes you end up making them your own- this is my version. This way suits my need to do little bits of cooking through the day, and not use too many pots!
2 tins green jackfruit in brine
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

Spices:
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon good smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
Several grinds of fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tsp canola or other neutral oil
1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
Splash of water
2 teaspoons golden syrup
2 teaspoons lime juice

Method
Fry the onion and garlic in the oil until starting to brown. Add the spices and then the sauce ingredients, before allowing it to reduce a little.

Shred the jackfruit with your hands (especially the tougher cores) and deep fry until starting to crisp. Mix the jackfruit in with the sauce and leave it to rest. The mix will be fairly dry, but the jackfruit should be fully coated.

When you are ready to eat, spread the jackfruit mixture on a lightly oiled tray and heat in the oven at 200c until starting to dry and crisp at the edges- about 15-20 minutes.

Serve the jackfruit in the buns, with Mayonaise abd some salad. Serve the beans, and maybe some corn on the cob on the side.
20130417-181239.jpg

Rhubarb Cake

This was invented with the assistance of this recipe at C’est La Vegan. This is a fairly tart grown-up style cake.
20130412-155931.jpg
A holding photo, so I remember to make this again!
Ingredients
100g soy milk
1 teaspoon apple juice
100g baking fat
100g sugar
1 mashed banana
200g self-raising flour
Small pinch of salt
6 rhubarb stalks, chopped

1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to top.

Method
Preheat the oven to 180c.
Mix the milk and apple juice together.
Then, in a separate bowl, cream together the fat and sugar. Then mix in the banana and the milk. Add the flour and salt and mix well before carefully folding in the rhubarb.
Pour the batter into an oiled cake tin and sprinkle over the cinnamon and sugar.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the top is quite brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.

Ravioli with Aubergine and Aduki Beans, with a Balsamic Chutney

This is a bit of extra work but it looks lovely on the plate.
20130413-183256.jpg
Homemade Pasta Dough
To serve four with a substantial filling
Ingredients
400g flour
100g water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of salt

Method
Mix and knead, rest for an hour and use as you wish.

Roasted Aubergine and Aduki Bean Filling

1 aubergine, cubed- if you’re a loony like me then a smoked aubergine is wonderful!
200g aduki beans, soaked overnight, simmered for 45 minutes and drained, or one tin
2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus a splash
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 clove of garlic, grated on a microplane
1/2 stick of celery, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Pinch of salt
6 cherry tomatoes

Method
Make the pasta dough first and let it rest.
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Toss the cubed aubergine, celery, garlic, herbs, tomatoes and the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast in the oven until fully cooked. The aubergine should have absorbed oil and be very soft and silky.
20130413-182854.jpg
Mash the mixture with the beans.
You should end up with a fairly thick paste.

Make the ravioli
Divide the dough and the filling into four each, roll out one dough ball at a time and cut out large circles using the top of a large glass (or big cookie cutter if you’re fancy!). Dividing it up in this way makes it easier to distribute the filling equally.

I get about 12 per quarter, or 48 in total.
20130413-183045.jpg
Put a small blob of filling on each and fold it over, sealing the edges with a little water.
20130413-183128.jpg
These can rest a while- boil them for three minutes when you are ready to eat. Dress with a little chutney, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and fresh basil.

Balsamic Onion Chutney

Ingredients
1/2 onion, sliced
100ml balsamic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoon olive oil

Method
Cook the onion in the olive oil, over a low heat with the lid on for about fifteen minutes. They will caramelise and soften. Then pour in the balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and paprika. Reduce to a thick sauce, add a little water or white wine if you go too far.

Smokey Stew – Chickpeas, Sausage, Spinach, Potatoes, Smoke… And a vaguely Moroccan Sourdough

A hearty, smokey stew with delicious bread. Cold smoking the ingredients makes this really special.
20130408-180839.jpg
Start the bread first:

Vaguely Moroccan Sourdough Bread
20130408-175025.jpg
I took advice and pointers from this recipe, but my version is fairly different – using only sourdough and cumin rather than fennel.

Ingredients
100g refreshed starter
600g white flour
225g water
1 tbsp cumin seed
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp cornmeal to dust

Method
I make it in the machine- 2:30h dough cycle (or knead well), then shape, sprinkle over the cornmeal, slash and rest 1 hour.
20130408-153937.jpg
Bake for 30 minutes at 200c and allow to cool for a minimum of 30 minutes, this will allow it to finish cooking.
20130408-161932.jpg

Stew
I made this with tomato, chickpeas, sausage and garlic that had been smoked in my cold-smoker. It would still be delicious with the plain variety, or you could add some liquid smoke.

Ingredients – to serve two with bread
4 cold-smoked tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves of cold-smoked garlic, finely sliced
1 tin of smoked chickpeas (drained), or a roughly equivalent quantity of home cooked ones
2-3 sausages made according to the Italian Feast Recipe in Vegan Brunch and then cold smoked (the recipe makes 4, I freeze them)
20130408-151745.jpg
4 medium potatoes, cubed
3 handfuls frozen spinach (that’s what I had, but I am positive that about 4 big handfuls of fresh, roughly chopped, would work well
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Splash of balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Approximately 250ml white wine and 250ml water
Pinch of salt
Generous quantities of freshly ground pepper

Method
Slice the sausage diagonally, about 1cm thick. Fry the slices on both sides in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until browned and crisp. Remove from the oil and set aside.

Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the pan and fry the garlic and spice until the garlic is nutty brown. Then remove the garlic, and set aside as well.

Fry the potato until browned on all side, then add the chopped tomatoes and cook slowly until they have collapsed into a thick sauce.

Add the chickpeas, vinegar, pre fried garlic and spinach add water and wine in equal proportions until the potatoes are just covered. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are cooked and the sauce is quite dry – about 45 minutes.
20130408-151753.jpg

Stir in the fried sausage and season before serving. Use generous bowls with bread on the side.

For the children
If this doesn’t suit the kids, serve the bread with some fresh fruit and vegetables, some beans or chickpeas in tomato sauce…

Taking Up Smoking

I have bought myself a cold-smoking thingy and shoved it in an old plastic-covered growhouse with a hole cut in the top. High tech it is not.
20130408-123249.jpg
(Important to raise the smoker up or is leaks our of the bottom)
Yesterday I experimented with chickpeas, veganic pizza cheese (grated), tomatoes, garlic and an Italian Feast Sausage from Vegan Brunch.
I left it for around six hours and now everything tastes fantastic!
I’ll be trying a version of Espinacas con Garbanzos using many of the ingredients this evening.